Six Africans attacked in south Delhis Mehrauli on Thursday, police register three cases
New Delhi: Five people have been arrested for the attack on six Africans in south Delhi's Mehrauli on Thursday night. Police have said the attacks, a week after a Congolese national was beaten to death in the city, were "isolated incidents" not racist in nature. Two of those attacked have alleged they were beaten with cricket bats.
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The arrests happened after Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi. Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to the Home Minister, and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, about the attacks and said she was assured that the culprits would soon be arrested. Apart from the arrests, 5 others have been detained.
According to the police, the Africans were injured in three separate incidents on Thursday night. Among the complainants are two women - one from Uganda and the other from South Africa - and one Nigerian man.
Three separate police cases have been registered, but the police deny that the attacks were planned. They say the attacks happened after arguments over playing loud music and drinking late at night in the area.
In protest against the attacks, African students plan to hold a demonstration in Delhi on Tuesday. Ms Swaraj has asked Minister of State General VK Singh and Secretary Amar Sinha to meet the students.
After discussing the incidents with the Delhi Police, General (Retired) VK Singh said he has found that "media was blowing up a minor scuffle as attack on African nationals in Rajpur Khurd...Why is media doing this? As responsible citizens let us question them and their motives."
One of the six Africans injured on Thursday is Nigerian national Kenneth Igbinosa, a local priest. He has said he was hit with a cricket bat by a group of men while he was returning home with his wife and four-month-old son. His friend Jackson was also allegedly attacked.
Another Nigerian national, 32-year-old Leuchy, claims he was on his way to a church in an auto-rickshaw when a group of locals stopped it midway and attacked him with bats and a stone. "They attacked me with bats and a stone which caused a deep injury on my nose. They kept thrashing me as I screamed for help asking them why they were doing so." He also said that the group also vandalised his friend's car which was parked on the same street.
While pictures show Leuchy's nose was badly bruised, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Ishwar Singh said he only had "minor injuries" after he fell on a stone on the road.
DCP Singh said there was "no element of racism" in Thursday's attacks. "It's not as if there's a public movement against African nationals," he said before adding that the attacks happened "at different locations (a kilometre apart), at different times and for different reasons."
On May 20, a Congolese national Masonda Ketada Olivier, 29, was beaten to death after an argument over the hiring of an auto-rickshaw in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi. The government today said it will assist his family to travel to India to receive his mortal remains.